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PROMONTORY ENCLOSURE, CARDIGAN ISLAND

Manylion y Safle

© Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 309338

Cyfeirnod Map SN15SE

Cyfeirnod Grid SN15995163

Awdurdod Lleol Ceredigion 

Hen Sir Ceredigion

Cymuned Y Ferwig

Math o Safle ANHEDDIAD AMGAEEDIG

Dosbarth Cyffredinol AMAETHYDDIAETH A CHYNHALIAETH

Cyfnod Cynhanesyddol, Amlgyfnod, Yr Oes Haearn

Disgrifiad o´r Safle 2. Promontory enclosure situated against the cliff edge on the north side of Cardigan Island, its original plan and extent lost through coastal erosion. The enclosure is defined by a 3m wide and 1 m high curving bank with external ditch 2.5m wide and currently encloses an area 75m south-west to north-east by 45m north-west to south-east. Attached to the western side of the enclosure is a possible annexe of which only a very small area survives including a 13m long section of enclosing bank and ditch and a 3m wide entrance gap set at the junction with the main enclosure.

Within the promontory enclosure a number of features survive, including a 31m long section of bank and ditch, part of NPRN 309339, a 250m long bank that crosses and divides the whole island and which appears to predate the promontory enclosure. Set against the western side of this bank at SN 15954 51580 is a rectangular platform 13m long and 8m wide, the level foundation upon which a structure once stood. There are also 3 possible roundhouse platforms each around 5m in diameter and set against the internal face of the enclosure bank at SN 16027 51663, SN 16030 51638 and SN 16020 51630. A roughly circular mound, 4m in diameter is situated at SN 16006 51649 and from this a curving scarp slope runs south into the main enclosure bank, perhaps a further sub-division or even a later/earlier phase to the enclosure.

Parallels with mainland sites suggest that this non-defensive promontory enclosure/settlement is most likely prehistoric - Iron Age in origin. However, the presence of the rectangular platform does suggest later use, the date and function of which is unknown.

This site was surveyed and studied by P. Brewers in 1992 and was revisited by the Royal Commission in 2013. The island has been documented during RCAHMW aerial reconnaissance.

Louise Barker, RCAHMW, June 2015

Sources
Brewers P., 1993 Cardigan Island: A survey. Unpublished B. A. Dissertation submitted to the Department of Archaeology, St David’s University College, Lampeter.
Brewers P., 1994 Cardigan Island, Y Ferwig (SN 161 515). Archaeology in Wales 34, 3-6.

2. The promontory enclosure is a baseline monitoring site for the EU-funded CHERISH Project 2017-2021. Bewers (1994, 4) noted; 'Both Lewis Morris's 1748 map of the Teifi Estuary and Singer's 1803 map of Cardiganshire show that this portion of the island extended out to sea much further then than now. Moreover, the large number of sizeable rock chunks now visible at the foot of the cliff would tend to confirm that the cliffs here have been subjected to much erosion during the last few centuries.'

The promontory enclosure (and wider island) were visited by the CHERISH Project survey team on 30th October 2018 and a photogrammetric model was made of the enclosure using a UAV, to fix its current position and erosion status.

T. Driver, RCAHMW, 2019.

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